Windows XP Wrong .mht .mhtml .htm ,html icons how to correct it

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Jun 25, 2011
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There is in this forum an old thread explaining how to solve wrong icons for the .htm .html .mht and .mhtml files, those instructions did not work to me, and also an application htmliconfix.exe could not run, I guess because this was developed to fix it in Internet Explorer version 7 and before, but I have the version 8.

I got to fix it and as many other people can have the same problem, here are the steps you can try to solve this problem. This worked in Windows XP but most probably the first 2 steps will work in any version, just be careful with the registry edition in case you try this last option.

1) Open any folder and go to the menu Tools -> Folder Options -> File Types, check if the .htm .html .mht and .mhtml are listed and if they are associated with Internet Explorer, if not, this could be caused by a bad unistallation of another browser or a misinstallation of a new one, anyway you can try to associate this to your browser. First click in the button Change and choose your browser in the list of programs, click OK.
In the case these extensions are correctly associated with your browser, but just the icons are not correct, you can click in the buttons Advanced -> Change icon and choose your browser .exe file ( the location depends on your browser, in case of Internet Explorer is "Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" ) and a list of icons will be open, choose the right one and click OK.

2) Well you did try the above actions and this did not work. This was my case. You have an attempt that can solve this. Just delete the .htm .html .mht and .mhtml extensions in the list of File Types described above, than do nothing more just click OK and close. Now choose one of the html or mht files you have, any one and click on it to open, it will open an window asking you to search for a program to open it, just choose the option " Open it from a list.., then choose Internet Explorer ( I did not try it with other browser so I cannot confirm this will work exactly the same way with any other browser), the Internet Explorer shall open and show a window with following message:

Internet Explorer is no more the default browser, do you like to set Internet Explorer as your default browser?

Just click to set Internet Explorer as the standard browser and Windows will correct all the registry entries related with the right file associations.

3) In the case also the alternative 2 did not work you have a last attempt, but you must be carefull because you will edit the registry and this can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing or if you mess up with wrong things.

Just open regedit (if you don't know what regedit is just look for help of someone that knows how to do it or google it and learn how to use it safely) and look for the following keys:


This must be C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE,-32554

If you have Windows in other language the Program Files folder may have other name, just change it for the right one.

Now look for the key:


This must be C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE,-17

If not, then edit the keys for the correct ones.

If this did not work, just as you did in step 1 now set the Notepad program to open the .htm .html .mht .mhtml files, check if the icons changed to the .txt icons, if not you will need to reinstall the Internet Explorer to solve the problem because any other installation really messed up with the defaults, hijacked your extensions and is not allowing to change it, but if the icons changed to the known .txt (the blue book), there is light at the end of the tunnel, go to the registry and change them as explained in the step 3 to use the IEXPLORE.EXE icons, now check if the icons did change to Internet Explorer icons, but IMPORTANT don't leave it so, now repeat the step 2, delete the extensions .mht .mhtml .htm .html in File Type list and let Windows fix it as described in that step. What we did is to hijack the extensios to Notepad (which is safe because it is a program that can open this type of files), let them to use the Internet Explorer icons being Notepad the default program just to check if they are finally free to be changed and finally let the Windows restore the defaults using the step 2 as described above.
That's it, this last option did work fine to me, but I am not sure it will work the same way to other Windows versions since Windows Vista and 7 can have different registry keys and even can have easier tools to do this job.
One last comment, the hijacking of such icons does not mean you are infected by a virus, can be, but in most of the cases is a bad installation/uninstallation of another browser or a program which can edit such type of files, one service left behind can be changing the icons to a path which does not exist more, or conflicting keys were left behind poiting to no more existing icons.
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